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Postcards from Hartford

Hotel Hartford

This is the Hotel Hartford, which stood at 240 Church Street, on the corner of Ann Street. The back of the postcard carries a 1943 postmark. In a 1954 city directory, the Hotel Hartford advertised "125 rooms of convenience, hospitality and comfort," located just "two blocks from shopping—theatres—railroad station." There were radios in every room and a television in the lobby. The nightly rates started at $3.25 for a single, $5 for a double.

As the post-World War II years went on, downtown hotels like this one took a turn for the seedy, increasingly relying on residential guests. On May 25, 1964, the Hotel Hartford became the scene of a sad moment in city history: the first killing of a Hartford police officer acting in the line of duty. The officer, Henry Jennings, had been staking out the room of a guest suspected of shooting and wounding another officer hours earlier. When the suspect returned and found Jennings waiting for him, a gunfight broke out in the hallway, with Jennings managing to wound the suspect before suffering a fatal shot to the head. Jennings Road, current home of police headquarters, is named after him.